Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Mustard Sauce
Nutty sautéed chicken dipped in a creamy mustard sauce delivers nicely varied textures and flavors. Using cornstarch rather than flour makes the crust especially crisp.
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons grainy or Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1. In a food processor, pulse the pecans with the cornstarch, thyme, paprika, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne until the nuts are chopped fine. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- 2. Whisk together the egg and the water in a small bowl. Dip each chicken breast into the egg mixture and then into the nut mixture.
- 3. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes longer.
- 4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, parsley, a pinch of cayenne, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the chicken with the mustard dipping sauce.
- Menu Suggestions: The crisp coating on the chicken invites a creamy potato gratin alongside. Green beans, perhaps sautéed in bacon fat, would taste great, too.
- Wine Recommendation: The combination of the sweet pecans and the assertive mustard sauce lends itself to either a crisp sparkling wine or a stainless-steel-fermented sauvignon blanc from California.
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